Published on May 18th, 2015 | by Pro Wrestling Stories0
The Missing Eye and Ear Edition!
Welcome to the missing ear and eye edition on Pro Wrestling Stories.com! In this installment, we will be focusing on two stories- the time when Mick Foley lost an ear in a match against Leon White (Big Van Vader) in Germany and when Vader’s eye popped out during a match against Stan Hansen in Japan. Not for the faint of heart. And who said wrestling was fake? Enjoy!
STAN HANSEN and VADER discuss the incident when Vader’s eyeball was popped out of its socket during their 1990 Tokyo Dome Super Fight for the IWGP championship
“Yeah, that was a brutal match…
Vader is the real deal. I mean, he’s a huge guy, much bigger than me – at that time even, a hundred pounds more – and he’s a legitimate athlete.
He’s got his own agenda that he’d like to promote…and that’s where the real battle comes in – and it WAS a battle. A lot of people talk about that to this day as one of the most physical battles, and it was.
Just because Vader’s eye was all busted up, doesn’t mean that I wasn’t beat up and bruised…he beat me up pretty good too!
Blind as I am – you know, I wear pretty thick glasses, I can see [only] about to the end of my hand (laughs). I, of course, was close enough that I could see something was wrong but until I saw him later I didn’t really [realize the extent of it].
I was seeing so many stars from him hitting me that I wasn’t really concerned about his eye…” (laughs)
VADER (Leon White):
“A lot of people said, ‘You’re crazy, you should have stepped out of the ring…’ But it never crossed my mind not to [finish the match].
When I was approaching the ring – Stan had entered the ring first – I took a step forward, and he pushed [Tiger] Hatori aside, took his cowbell and swung over the top of the rope and hit me in the forehead with it and busted my nose. It just shattered.
Man, I couldn’t see, my ears were ringing, and blood was pouring out…
And I stood there like that…I was well out.
When I finally came to, probably about forty-five seconds, I entered the ring, walked up to Stan and hit a big right, right in the ear. And that created the exchange that resulted in Stan thumbing me in the eye.
So, the big fights on, and I’m punching him, I’m drilling him, bam, bam, bam, bam!
He got back in the corner, and I was looking for the right and forgot he was a leftie – he went ‘wham, wham,’ and about the third one, my eye literally came out of the socket, hanging out. The sucker popped right out of my cheek…you couldn’t see it because the mask was on.
So I went, ‘Stan, you popped my eye out, you motherfucker!’ And I pushed it back in.
Everything happened so quickly…it popped out, I shoved it back in and kept fighting.
I really didn’t think that the thumb was necessary.
I lost a great deal of sight in the right eye. And of course, my nose had to be rebuilt entirely.
So you know, a lot of time off work – very costly too. The fight itself, you know, I earned pretty good money…but it ended up costing me.”
Watch the match (incident happens at 8:10):